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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  June 28, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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to see her talking about health care and see where we are today. >> i think we have those red chairs in storage. you want one to take home? >> sure thing, it would look great with the decor. >> kate will be here tomorrow night for you. i'll see you on the campaign trail. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- next, president obama takes a victory lap on health care. mitt romney sees a republican rally cry. but do you know who really won? we do. for the first time in history, sitting attorney general charged with contempt of congress. he called it political. so, why did 17 democrats vote for it? one of them "outfront." and this man found guilty of child rape but is going to be receiving a big sum of money from penn state university. that doesn't add up. let's go "outfront."
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good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, party time. both sides spinning the health care verdict. the president celebrating his individual mandate ruling at the supreme court. >> today, i'm as confident as ever that when we look back five years from now or ten years from now or 20 years from now, we'll be better off because we have the courage to pass this law and keep moving forward. >> and republicans seeing a way to rally the base. after all, this is now a fight for the underdog. hey, the supreme court failed to repeal what republicans see as a hated health care act. a big overreach of big government. but if you like mitt romney, he is going to slay the health care dr dr dragon. >> what the court did not do on its last day in session, i will do on my first day if elected president of the united states.
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>> well, that was pretty loud and clear. both sides were celebrating. partying it up. like guys at a bachelor party. but the problem is no one was a winner today. and soon they're going to wake up feeling pretty hung over. in fact, just like how the party ended in, well, "the hangover." >> you okay, buddy? >> no, i am in so much pain right now. look at this place. >> i know. phil, they have my credit card downstairs. i am so screwed. >> how does a tiger get in the bathroom? he almost killed me. >> yeah, we just woke up with a tiger in america's bathroom. in all seriousness, the point is this, we're all losers. why? because even if you love what this health care bill does, things like covering pre-existing conditions, you have to hate what it does not do. because it does not deal with surging health care costs in america. as we've been saying, in our country where we spend the most on health care person person
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than any developed person on earth, we rank number 27 in life expectancy. more people are covered, thanks to the rulin whi which may be a great thing. but under the so-called affordable health care act. this health care analyst says premiums will rise 7.5% a year. four times more than the inflation rate. and the spending is getting worse. according to the centers for medicare and medicaid services, health spending in 2010 grew about 3.9% from the year before. in 2014, when the president's health care law takes full effect, spending will jump 7.4%. that is a massive fail. this is editor in chief of reason tv and ben smith is buzz feed editor in chief. roland martin is political analyst at cnn. erick erickson is also. but also the editor of red great to have you with us. ben, let me start with you. obviously, quick to have victory
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laps going on both sides. republicans are trying to say, oh, look the supreme court gets you off, obama, only because you're raising taxes on the middle class. will that stick? >> no, this isn't an issue romney can fight and win. i think both he and the president are going to want to stop talking about this after the holiday weekend. the winner is john roberts. who really set up the court and set up himself for this much increased stature. i think the political campaign is going to move away from this fast. >> erick, it may be that roberts was the only real winner today. >> oh, i think roberts was probably the only real winner today. the republicans are going to make the democrats own this. let's not forget the big issue here isn't just republican races but ballot races in the house and the senate where the democrats still have more seats at stake in the senate. p of them don't like raising taxes. you can bet the republicans will make them want to vote again on the biggest health tax increase -- >> you think this will motivate the republican base more than a victory which would have sort of, you know, eliminated the
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big, hey, if i get an office, i'm going to repeal it, argument? >> oh, yes, absolutely. it has taken the supreme court off the table for the left. it's made it an issue for the right. mitt romney's raised $2 million before sunset today just on this issue. >> rond la, i think the latest number is $2.5 million from the mitt romney campaign. i just got an e-mail here. the obama administration is saying -- say you're with me on affordable care. they're trying to raise money. who do you think will benefit more when it comes to fund-raising off this? the winner barack obama or the seeming loser mitt romney? >> i know we love to go right to the heart of the political issue. but, again, i will say the very people out there, the millions of people who are now covered, the folks with pre-existing condition, the folks who are sitting there. if you're a young person on your parent's health care. let me tell you something, erin. look, i know how this feels, okay. 2000, covering the democratic national convention. my appendix ruptured. five days in a hospital in l.a. $100,000.
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no health insurance. had to file for bankruptcy. house almost foreclosed on. i know what it feels like not to have health insurance. and so we can get caught up in the political arena. but the reality is, we now have to deal with people who now can be protected. and so now, how do you fortify this? how do you make it better? how do you bring down costs? this is a start. is no the end. this is the beginning a real discussion and real national health care plan. >> nick, the problem is this seems to fall in that category of it's great more people are covered and you want that outcome, but this was done without dealing with the costs. we're looking at costs rising 4% in 2000 2009. costs are going to raise more. >> if the -- the health care costs are going to be jacked up even more. whether it's state, local or federal almost spends almost 50 cents out of every health care dollar and prices have been going up astronomically, far above the rate of inflation.
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you bring the government even more into the matter and the prices are only going to spiral up more than the government will say, well, we got to subsidize rates more. that will jack it up the next time. i think the question for roland to ask -- and i say this, i'm not a republican, i'm not a democrat. my book, which is out in paperback, is the declaration of independence. i am an independent. why would it cost 100 grand to fix your appendix? you know, it's partly because of the heavy subsidies and the government involvement already. to go back to the republicans, mitt romney's the last person you want to be arguing in a world where obama care has just passed constitutional muster. he has no plan to counter what was just -- you know, what he did at the state level, at the federal level. it's a real problem. >> let's not sit here and we talk about costs going up. somehow it's only because of the affordable care act. one of the reasons costs -- >> that isn't what i said. >> no, i'm not saying you said it. one of the reasons we're seeing
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rising health care as well is because our nation also is becoming more obese. we also don't want to confront when it comes to wellness. when you begin to deal with the issue of wellness, when you begin to have folks who have regular checkups. folks where you're able to catch something earlier as opposed to late in the game, then you're dealing with that. so i say you have to deal with the cost. this is simply the beginning of a process. >> then you're getting issues of saying, okay, look, if we're going to deal with obesity, that means people who weigh more will have to pay more. that is something that just doesn't seem to have muster in this country. >> learning in the first round of this thing is that any attempts for the government to impose cost controls. death panels so called were the outstanding instance of that. the obama administration backed off very fast. people don't like the idea of the government saying this treatment is cheaper. so we're only going to pay for that. right or wrong. >> erick -- >> there were never death panels. where is that coming from? >> they weren't death panels. they were a small step in that direction -- >> -- extreme cost of health
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care. yeah, they were imposed to restrain the cost of health care. i get what roland's saying. people like individual pieces of health care. that's fine. but the roberts decision means the democrats are going to have to fight on the gop turf on this which is full repeal. 60% of americans in some of the worst polling on obama care. 60% of americans still don't like the bill overall. they don't like tax increases. we're going to november with the democrats being forced to fight on this republican battlefield. the republicans may need a plan. but right now, their best plan is just to say "repeal it." >> you should go to those states with the worst health care and when it comes to the folks in worst condition, mississippi, alabama, louisiana, arkansas, texas, west virginia. you talk about health care. go to those states that are red states. >> the real problem, why health care costs are going up, and roland is right, this was happening long before the affordable health care act was passed. that's going to pour gas on the fire. it's because of increasing government involvement. when the government becomes the
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main provider of something, costs go up because costs will never be accounted for properly. that's the big issue. get the government out of health care and you'll start to see prices come down. romney can't sell that. the republicans have had plenty of time to do it. the last time they controlled the federal government what did they do? they gave us the prescription drug plan for medicare which is the most egregious handout to relatively wealthy seniors. this is why americans are moving away from the democrats and the republicans. because you hear chatter. it's a red team. it's a blue team thing. and the american people, erin, like you said at the beginning, the american people are the losers. because we're stuck with the bill but we're not going to get the access to care that everybody seems to be after. >> -- republican will be president -- >> that is true, but of course we want to eat what we want and drink what we want and then we want to make sure we have care. we don't want to pay more for it. i mean, there's a big problem. by the way, there's specific reasons health care costs are surging in this country. we're going to talk about it more in just a couple of
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moments. next, today's vote to hold eric holder in contempt. he says it was all political. the white house says it was all political. why did 17 democrats vote for it? one of them who did next. plus, a number of reasons why ebay has the best car for you. stick shift as you know, that's important. and the loss stemming from the jp morgan london whale was $3 billion. no, it wasn't $3 billion. it could be multiples of that.
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our second story "outfront." an historic day on capitol hill by a vote of 255-67, the house today for the first time held a sitting attorney general in contempt of congress. this stems from the fast and furious operation, where the government sold about 2,000 guns to drug runners hoping that would lead to breaking up cartels. critics say the attorney general failed to hand over documents related to the operation. all but two republicans voted in favor of contempt. and about 100 democrats didn't even vote. they walked out in protest. but here's the thing. 17 democrats voted in favor of contempt. congressman jason altymyer of pennsylvania was one of them. why did you go against your party? the white house called this vote a political stunt. you voted in favor of contempt. why? >> there were two issues. one is i couldn't get around the
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fact i'm a member of the house. the house has asked for documents related to the investigation. i understand the attorney general holder doesn't want to give them. he has reasons why he doesn't feel he's obligated to provide them. but the fact is he didn't provide them. and when there's a vote on contempt, that's something you have to consider. we asked for the documents. they were not provided. i hope that the documents will show nothing was inappropriate or wrong regarding the operation or the attorney general's involvement in that. i have no reason to believe that in any way they're going to show anything that we wouldn't want it to show. but he was asked for the documents and he didn't provide them. the second reason is i was here in the congress in 2008 when we had a very similar vote during the bush administration. and the democratic controlled congress had two members, high rank officials, in the bush administration, that we held in contempt under very similar circumstances relating to an issue. and as a result, i had the vote in contempt for that.
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so i just couldn't reconcile the issue being different just because the political party in power's different. >> well, all right so fair point. you made the bipartisan point. let me ask you about this conspiracy theory. nra has a theory -- national rifle association about fast and furious. they say the obama administration allowed these guns to be sold knowing they'd gone into mexico. knowing they'd be used in violent crimes. that would cause bad headlines and allow the government to impose more strict gun regulations here in the united states. do you believe that theory? >> i don't. and that has nothing to do with -- i've heard it. that has nothing to do with the reason i voted the way i did. i cast a similar vote in 2008. it's consistent with the vote i cast today. as a member of the house, i believe we do have the power of the investigation and oversight over the executive branch. we asked for documents that were not provided. because the vote was held on the floor, i voted to hold the attorney general in contempt because he did not comply with
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our request. >> okay. so the national rifle association. they said today's vote, they're going to look at it when giving letter grades. i know you got an "a" on the last scorecard. i know thriey've given you abou $19,350 over the last four years. i also know you're not running for election. but the nra's support, letter grade, had to matter to you. >> well, as you said, i'm not on the ballot in the fall election. so i don't know how anyone can make the claim that that had anything to do with the vote that i cast today. you have every right to bring that up. but it wasn't part of the reason i voted the way i did. >> you might run again one day, right? >> i have no plans to run again. that had nothing to do with the vote that i cast. i cast again because i want to be consistent with the vote i cast four years ago when president bush was in power. >> look, we applaud the saying, you know, i'm not going to just go with my party, i want to be bipartisan. so i want to make that clear. but i wanted to ask you sort of a personal question.
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because, you know, when i was looking at your vote, i know a lot people would say, how can you be a democrat and care so much about the nra? how can you be a democrat and want to have a gun? it's the same thing a lot of people say, how could you be gay and be a republican. people just don't understand how those things can go together. does that frustrate you? >> the way you articulated it, if that is a criticism that's being levied, yeah that would concern me. but i haven't heard that in response to the vote. the district that i represent is overwhelmingly in support of the second amendment. i believe there are more nra members per capita in the 100 mile radius surrounding the district that i represent than anywhere else in the country. so i'm just representing my district when i cast votes that the nra would support. again, in this case, i voted that way for consistency and because i believe that it was the right thing to do based on the vote we cast and the issue that's at hand. >> right, no, no, i understand that. i'm just wondering, it was
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presumably near your district when the president when he was running last time around made the comment about guns and bibles. >> well, i represent western pennsylvania. i believe that that was one of the regions that was part of that articulation. >> yeah, but it must have -- i guess what i'm getting at, does it upset you people want to say negative things about people who have guns? say if you're a democrat you can't be for guns. clearly, you're a democrat and they're for guns. >> yeah, again, i was elected as a democrat three times. i have the support of the nra two of those times. and i'm not running for re-election. so that wasn't part of my consideration this time when i cast the vote today. >> all right. well, thank you very much. i really appreciate your taking the time, sir. still "outfront," the decisions made by the obama administration make the surge in afghanistan ineffective. and cost lives and dollars. our guest was there. he tells us why he thinks so. and the number two, cars, money,
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brand-new cars every day. the way they're doing it is they're going to cut the price of the cars by about $500 an hour. so this is really tricky because you can actually bid at any time. you know, it keeps falling. if you wait too long, someone else will swoop in and beat you to the car. interesting little method to get people interested. ebay's become an accepted place to buy cars. there are over 90,000 cars and trucks on ebay at this moment. i remember almost ten years ago a friend sold a car on ebay. it was such a new concept at the time that getting the money from the buyer and giving the keys was done at new york's busiest train station so both parties felt if the other pulled out a knife or something, somebody would intervene. i actually think they would keep walking. but you get the point. we've come a long way. and that brings me to our number tonight. $3.26 million. that's the cost of the 1959 ferrari 250 gt california
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spider. the most expensive car ever sold on ebay. many of you would probably recognize is from "ferris buell bueller's day off." of course, that ferrari is a manual and that driver didn't know how to drive it. all right, "outfront," the president says it's time to move over on health care. our next guest, a powerful member of congress, says he's going to do everything in his power to stop it. what is he going to do about our biggest concern? how to pay for it. and does this add up? jerry sandusky may be collecting a big fat paycheck right now from penn state. and getting it the rest of his life. welcome to
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all right, welcome back to the second half of "outfront." we start the second half with stories we care about, where we focus on our own reporting from the front lines. finally, a break for firefighters in colorado. cooler temperatures and lighter winds helping in the fight against wildfires raging across the state. the u.s. forest service officials say it could still be mid-july before the fires are under control. more than 36,000 people have been forced to leave their homes. the mayor of colorado springs says 347 homes have been
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destroyed. the fbi tells "outfront" that its investigation into the cause of the wildfires is now under way. well, the united states has decided to look the other way when it comes to china and singapore buying oil from iran. first, china's the biggest buyer of iran oil. so if the u.s. looks the other way on china, what are we doing? u.s. sanctions set to take effect today are supposed to cut countries off from the american financial system if they're importing iranian oil. united states says the pass for china is a reward for the country voluntarily crop dropping its imports by nearly 40%. the sanctions are designed to force iran to stop its nuclear program. inside sources quoted by "the new york times" say the trading loss that jamie diamond took on the chin isn't the $3 billion initially reported. it could be closer to $9 billion. that sent the stock price down
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2.5% today. we called fbr banking analyst paul miller. and he actually ran the most important number. he said jpmorgan would have to lose more than $20 billion to have a major impact on the company's bottom line. that's important because $9 billion, almost halfway there. also said there has been harm to the bank's reputation. there's a plane for sale as is. do you remember this day? polish airline lot. you remember its landing gear broke. as it was landing it had to land in soap and on the runway. it was an incredible moment. the plane is not allowed to fly again. but it's for sale. who wants a plane who can't fly? we called and got some answers from an aviation consultant. he says one engine on that 767 is worth about $7 million. the five computers on board are worth $750,000 each. that's a grand total of about $4 million. and apparently 40% of that
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fuselage is recoverable aluminum so scrap dealers and maintenance dealers for other airlines worldwide can line up to buy it. that means part of that doomed plane can end up on your next flight. it's been 329 days since the united states lost its top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back? this isn't going to help. the economy grew at 1.9% in the first quarter. that's an annual rate. it was the final estimate. here's what you need to know. at 2% or higher, you can create enough jobs to put a hole in the jobless problem in this country. below 2%, you can't. now our third story "outfront." unworkable. that's how this senator described the president's health care law. the supreme court decision today flies in the face of what the senator has been vowing to do since january of last year. repeal and replace the health care law. >> nothing should come between you and your doctor.
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not a government bureaucrat. not an insurance company bureaucrat. nothing. republicans will fight to repeal this job destroying law and replace it with patient centered reforms. >> what exactly are those reforms he's talking about? senator barrasso is "outfront" tonight. senator, good to see you. appreciate it. i know you've been talking about repeal and replacing this health care law for quite some time. obviously you're going to vote in favor of the -- you would, you're in the senate, but they're going to be repealing it in the house in a couple of weeks. let me just ask you where you stand on the provisions that americans love. you can't discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. young people can stay on their parent's plans until they're 26. subsidies for lower income households. would you keep all those things? >> you know, my wife is a breast cancer survivor. she's been through three operations. chemotherapy twice. i know how important it is for people with pre-existing conditions to be able to get
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coverage and to get care. and there are a lot of ways we can do it in a way that is actually more cost effective than happens through this health care bill. the same thing with those under the age of 26. you're talking about fewer than 1% of all people in this country where -- are covered that way. so there are things we can do to lower the cost of care and help everyone. under this health care law, though, you look at the president, so many of his promises that have been broken. he said under the law that insurance premiums would drop $2500 per family that first year. instead what we've seen is premiums have gone up $2400 a family. this law, it was a bad law yesterday. and in spite of the supreme court's decision today, it's still a bad law tonight. >> all right. so let me -- just a couple things you said there i want to clarify. yes, you would pay for it, but you would keep things like young people can stay on their parent's insurance, coverage for pre-existing conditions, right? that would be part of a good health care bill in your view? >> well, i think it is.
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i said that on cnn two years ago, the day of the white house summit where we were discussing -- i think someone from cnn asked me what could we pass today that people agree on, and that was one of those things. i think there's some benefits for that. fundamentally, we have a health care law that gives people fewer choices and increased costs and control of their own life and own health care. and i think it's still a bad law and should be repealed and replaced. >> okay. so let's get to this issue of cost. you've raised something we've been talking about. premiums are going to rise. estimates are 7.5% under this. that is still more than any raises americans are get. it's four times the rate of inflation. that's really bad. but this president tried to fight that. he went out to the doctors and said i want to cut what you guys are getting. i don't want so many tests. and he fought back by them, by democrats, by republicans. nobody wanted to take the political heat for paying for it. would you tell doctors, forget
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it, guy, stop with all those tests? >> as somebody who practiced medicine for 25 years, i can tell you that doctors worry about the lawsuit abuse that exists out there, which cause them to order many expensive tests. it's called defensive medicine. it's when a doctor orders a test more to treat the doctor than the patient because they don't want to miss that 1 in 1,000 or 1 in 10,000 cases that's going to end up for them to be in the courtroom rath than in the operating room -- >> fair point but they also order those tests, those machines -- >> -- expensive tests -- >> okay, that's true but they also old those expensive test machines and put them in their office because they know they can get reimbursed by insurance for a lot of money by putting those tests through. that's why doctors keep going in practices and ordering those machines. that's been proved in study after study to be true. >> it's an interesting concept about just how much money is wasted in health care that's not really being used to help the patient get better. but the physicians i have worked
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with over the years, it is driven by the concern about getting sued. defensive medicine is a huge part of the cost of care. and some physicians do put the machines to order these tests in their own offices for the convenience of the patient but it is driven by the defensive medicine that's been practiced and the president has essentially ignored this, refused to admit how much this contributes to the cost of care. the american people need health care reform and the reason they need it is because of the cost of care. that's what this whole thing was supposed to be about from the beginning. making sure the patients get the care they need from the doctor they choose. not that the government chooses or some insurance company chooses at lower cost. and this health care law has failed on all of those accounts. >> okay. but let's look at the biggest cost -- things that account for costs in america. you've got hospitals. you've got these tests that come from doctors. you've got prescription drugs. obviously, a big part of that came from the prescription drug
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plan under george w. bush. so are you going to go to those hospitals, to those drug companies, and tell them, we're just not going to do this anymore. i mean, you know, you have to admit, the president did dry. it was democrats and republicans, both who were afraid to go ahead and fight the costs. >> i think the president basically misled the american people. he said the negotiations would be covered on c-span. things would be all open. these were all closed door negotiations. it was one party making all of the decisions. they were bipartisan ideas were not accepted. the patient refused to listen to republican ideas. aimed at lowering the cost of care. bringing more competition into this. allowing people to buy insurance across state lines. giving individual incentives for people who take efforts to actually lower their cost of care by losing weight, by taking more control and prevention in their own lives. the president ignored item after
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item and came out with a one-size fits all. which has really driven up the cost of care faster, report show us, than if the law had never been passed in the first place. >> senator, thank you. appreciate your time. now, our fourth story "outfront." former penn state football coach jerry sandusky will likely keep collecting his $59,000 a year pension behind bars. state pension rules include a list of crimes that would disqualify a person from getting his or her pension. these are crimes related to duty. felony child molestation is not on that list. paul kallen is "outfront" tonight. obviously, this has a lot of people outraged. fed fi pedophiles, murderers, can collect their pension. >> the list of offenses doesn't include child abuse for which you forfeit a pension. it's really shocking. i've got a theory though that we
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can take this money away from him. >> how? >> which i'll talk about later. >> tell me now. >> there's one section that says if you intimidate a witness or a victim, that's an offense that can be utilized. i say he intimidated these vick filrm victims in what he did to them. there's a second one that has to do with fabricating or tampering with evidence. the big problem is a lot of the offense occurred after he resigned in the football program in penn state. remember this takes place from '94 to 2009, the indictment. he signs in 1999. >> you think it would -- >> clearly, he intimidated these victims because he threatened them if they would report it. some of the kids testified to that. >> it doesn't say threat of what. even though your talking about forgery and bribery. the amount of money. he got 148,0$148,000.
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he's been getting $4,908 per month for life. 50% would go to his surviving beneficiary after death. that is an incredible pension. the only way to change this law would be to change the constitution for the state of pennsylvania, right? >> called the ex-post facto doctrine of the u.s. constitution that says you can't pass a law that retroactively changes the rules of the game. >> it wouldn't apply? >> usually applies going forward but not going back. sometimes if you're careful about the way you do the law, the court will let it slide but that law's a hard one to get around. i don't think they're going to get away with changing the law and getting him. >> assume that you're right and they find a way though within the existing law to take it away. >> yes. >> the pension board takes it away. a lot of people will say that's
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not enough. >> i've got another way. i've totaled up under the statue the maximum amount of fines the judge can hand down in the criminal case. i'm coming up with $600,000 worth of fines. so if the judge maxes out the fines. $600,000. we'll get at least ten years of his pension money, hopefully, back into public coffers. but you got to wonder, too, the victims really deserve this money. and ironically pension money is protected from lawsuits. >> the victims can sue penn state. >> well, they can, yes. >> okay, thanks very much to paul kalen, appreciate it. next, infighting in the obama administration cost the lives of soldiers s is in afghanistan? our next guest has that story. why would one man alley steal $18 million? to make his wife the next madonna.
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we're back with tonight's outer circle. tonight, we go to singapore. because that's where a pastor was charged with stealing $18 million of his flock's donations. the pastor is accused of using the money to jump start his wife's singing career. dub her asia's answer to madonna. now, in singapore outside the church. >> reporter: you could call this the case of the pastor and the pop star. the founder of this massively
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popular church is accused of siphoning millions in church funds into an elaborate investment scheme and putting $18 million of that into his wife's singing career. she hasn't been charged in this case. ♪ one of her best known videos is this one for a song called "china wine." the pastor and his wife have said her pop music is a way of attracting more people to the church's message. the church donation website remains open. the church asked the public not to prejudge. >> all right. next, egypt, where a british student revealed on her blog that she had been sexually assaulted by a mob in tahrir square this week. she recounted how an ambulance sent to help her was chased away by her attackers. she said hospitals refused to treat her. i asked him what prompted smith to go public. >> reporter: erin, natasha smith
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is now back in the uk and has spoken exclusively to cnn about her horrific ordeal. she's an incredibly brave young woman who's decided to go public, to highlight the fact that this is happening all the time. to egyptian women. a lot of times it doesn't get reported to the police. we've spoken to women's rights campaigners here who say because of the lack of security since the revolution, men on the streets, these packs of men who are in thhrir square and elsewhere feel emboldened and feel they can get away with doing almost anything they like. erin. >> it's awful. dan rivers in cairo. now, john king with a look at what's on "a.c. 360." >> tonight, with both parties and both candidates looking to score political points with their constituents, we're keeping them honest. a big panel tonight. jeff toobin, sanjay gupta, ari
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fleisher, gloria borger. also ahead, a live report from the front lines of the firestorm. it's already ripped through almost 350 homes in colorado springs. the waldo canyon blaze is only 50% contained. we'll tell you why the fbi is now involved. those stories and more on that house vote to hold the attorney general eric holder in contempt of congress. plus tonight's riduculist at the top of the hour. >> now, our fifth story "outfront." did infighting in the obama administration cost american lives in afghanistan? taxpayers have spent more than $542 billion on the afghanistan war. more than 2,000 american soldiers have died. but did fighting in his white house cause the country to pay a steeper price in money and lives than we should have? went into afghanistan with the troops during the surge. his new book is called "little
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me the war within the war. for afghanistan." he is "outfront" tonight. you spent a lot of time in afghanistan and iraq and all of these war zones. a charge that has a lot of people pretty upset. high levels in washington caused real problems. what happened? >> well so you had two camps in washington. you had the white house team. you had a state department team. the state department, you had their point man for afghanistan. the veteran diplomat richard holbrooke who died a year and a half ago. he was in charge of trying to manage the overall diplomatic strategy. really try to push towards getting to negotiations with the taliban. a very difficult challenge. this is a guy who had ended fighting in the balkans. a real diplomatic heavyweight. there were senior officials in obama's white house who just didn't like him. it was very personal, acrimonious fight. what happened was their infighting essentially stalled american policy in trying to
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come up with a plan to get to negotiations. it wasn't like the taliban were sitting at the other end of the table. this is what they were seeking to do. what i detail in this book is the real nasty infighting that got very personal. excluding holbrooke from meetings. forbidding him from using government planes. trying to slip talking points to the president of the united states after excluding holbrooke from a meeting with president karzai. >> childish stuff that came with a steep price. >> we had troops on the ground, fighting, dying to try to protect the afghan people, to beat back the taliban, and trying to get to peace talks. however difficult and elusive they were was a key part of what president obama wanted. this was something that the president wanted. both sides in this fight wanted the same goal. they were just caught up in a personality clash. >> you're also saying we waevted wasted a year in afghanistan
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during which time american troops lost their lives because of the surge strategy itself. >> yes. you would think when the president authorizes more troops, we'd be sending those troops to the places that are the most critical parts of afghanistan. that are the most important to beat back the taliban to protect the country. instead, the majority of the first wave of forces authorized by president obama in 2009 were sent to a relatively sparsely populated part of the country because of tribal infighting at the pentagon, not in afghanistan. because the u.s. marine corps wanted to have its own patch of the sand box. a place where it could fly its own helicopters. >> you got to be kidding me. >> i'm serious. this dates back to world war ii when the marines felt they didn't -- >> they'd rather go some place where they weren't even needed -- >> yes, yes. >> other americans die another place because they wanted their own territory. >> what it meant, erin, was that kandahar, the country's second largest city, sort of the spiritual homeland for the taliban, we were a year late in trying to do meaningful security operations there because we were
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off in the desert, in places that have far fewer people and were far less important to afghanistan's overall security. >> so, infighting between the state department and the white house. infighting in the pentagon cost american lives. at the same time, 30,000 troops went over in that surge, civilians went in to do all sorts of reconstruction projects. another thing you said did not work. >> that's right, erin. so there was this civilian surge that was supposed to unfold in tandem with the military surge. lots of those people unfortunately wound up staying in kabul, in the capital, in the vast embassy compound. there were lots of parties. lots of meeting, to go to. >> a lot of parties, a lot of people having fun. >> they were also doing a lot of work. but they weren't getting out into the field. into the places where the troops were that were the most important places where they needed to be. in many cases, we didn't get the right people out there. after years of operations in iraq and earlier in afghanistan. the diplomatic core was exhausted. they turned to retirees.
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they turned to volunteers. instead of scouring the country for the people with really the best skills to do this. you wind up with people down at the field level who often weren't really good fits. who didn't have the necessary know how to do what was necessary to take the sacrifices made by the troops and turn it into something more sustainable, trying to bring afghan government down there, trying to create an environment that the afghans would be able to then take charge of everything that was being done for them by the additional troops. >> all right, well, thanks very much. some pretty incredible reporting. it takes a lot of courage to say some of those things that he said. check out his book and also the book he wrote after spending time in iraq after the war. it's also fantastic. it's said music brings people together. apparently only if they can get the right visas. this is a pretty amazing story. it's next. the postal service is critical to our economy,
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delivering mail, medicine and packages. yet the house is considering a bill to close thousands of offices, slash service and layoff over 100,000 workers. the postal service is recording financial losses, but not for reasons you might think. the problem ? a burden no other agency or company bears. a 2006 law that drains $5 billion a year from post office revenue while the postal service is forced to overpay billions more into federal accounts. house bill 2309 is not the answer.
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india and pakistan have nukes pointed at each other. there's a movie called "cocktail." not the tom cruise one. it's a new "cocktail." produced by an indian company. going to be released on july 13. it's got a lot popular indian models and actors in it. of course, as usual, those bollywood actors are improbably beautiful. they really are. the power of bollywood, the official trailer already has more than 3 million views on
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youtube. one of the most amazing things about the film is the soundtrack. it has indian and pakistani musicians on it. despite those nukes pointing at each other have really made some beautiful music together. the album has received high praise from critics in both countries. four of the sound track's songs are currently in the top ten at indian site there's more than 1 billion people here so being in the top ten there is -- a lot more people listening to you than here. in fact, the soundtrack is so popular that the film's producers planned a lavish music celebration in mumbai that was to feature all of the singers. it was announced today india denied the pakistani singer's request for travel visas. as a result, the council for fellow ship was scrapped. now, if these two countries can't even agree on something this easy, this obvious that people in both